Mahmoud Mohammed Taha (1909-1985) was a zindiq who founded a new sect and political party called the Ikhwan al-Jamhuriyyin (Republican Brotherhood) in Sudan. He postulated that the Medinese verses of the Holy Qur’an were not universal and no longer applicable. In 1985, the Sudanese government had him executed for apostasy. Nevertheless, his poisonous political ideology persists among a small smattering in Sudan, which maintain a website disseminating his message and the literature of the sect. Among the falsehoods of this sect is a fabricated saying they have attributed to the Prophet Muhammad’s (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) eminent companion and paternal cousin, sayyidina Abd Allah b. AbbasRA: “I wonder for those who expect the return of the Messiah and do not expect the return of Mohamed”:
ولذلك فإن المسيح الأخير إنما هو المسيح المحمدي في معنى أنه يجيء بالرسالة الثانية من الإسلام التي عاشها محمد، وظلت مدخرة، في القرآن، وفي سيرته، لتعيشها بشرية القرن العشرين.. وفي ذلك يقول القرآن عن محمد: (إن الذي فرض عليك القرآن لرادك إلى معاد).. وعن ذلك جاءت عبارة ابن عباس (عجبت لمن ينتظر عودة المسيح، ولا ينتظر عودة محمد).. فمحمد عائد في معنى ما ستحيي البشرية من سنته- وهي الرسالة الثانية من الإسلام التي هي نقطة التقاء الأديان جميعا.. المسيح القادم هو الحقيقة المحمدية تتجسد على الأرض، فتضع البناء الفوقي على صرح الدين الذي بنى منه كل نبي ورسول من اللّبنات بقدر حكم وقته
“This means that the final Messiah shall be the Mohammedan Messiah, in the sense that he shall come with the Second Message which Mohamed lived personally, though it remained dormant in the Koran, appearing only in Mohamed’s personal example, until now, when it shall be implemented by the humanity of the twentieth century. In this connection, the Koran says to Mohamed, ‘He, who enforces the Koran upon you, is bringing you back on a predetermined date.’ (Sura 28, Aiya 85). It is also reported that Ibin Abbas, one of the leading companions of the Prophet Mohamed, once said, ‘I wonder for those who expect the return of the Messiah and do not expect the return of Mohamed.’ Mohamed is coming back in the sense that humanity shall live up to his own personal example, which is the Second Message of Islam, the meeting point of all religions. The coming Messiah is the personification of the essence of Mohamed, and he shall add the superstructure upon the foundations to which all prophets and messengers heave contributed as much as the circumstances of their times permitted.”
Not only has this sect adapted the false doctrine of raj’a (meaning the belief that some of the deceased shall return to this world before Judgment Day), they have grossly twisted the meaning of the Verse of the Qur’an:
إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَىٰ مَعَادٍ
Indeed, the One Who ordained upon you [O Prophet] the Quran will surely take you back to a place of return
The established meaning of this Ayah is that Allah promised the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) that he will one day return to his home town of Mecca. The Prophet (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam) was forced to emigrate from Mecca to Medina due to the unbearable persecution he and his companions faced, but this Ayah contains a prophecy that was fulfilled in his lifetime promising that one day he would return to Mecca, which he did during the well-known “conquest of Mecca” only eight years after the Hijra (exodus to Medina). So where did the followers of Mahmoud Taha obtain these heretical ideas and who is the one who originated the distorted interpretation of the Verse (28:85) as a proof for the belief in the raj’a of the Prophet Muhammad (sall Allahu alayhi wasallam)? The answer is a man named Abdallah b. Saba:
كَانَ عَبْد اللَّهِ بن سبأ يهوديا ، من أهل صنعاء أمه سوداء ، فأسلم زمان عُثْمَان ، ثُمَّ تنقل فِي بلدان الْمُسْلِمِينَ يحاول ضلالتهم ، فبدأ بالحجاز ، ثُمَّ الْبَصْرَةِ ، ثُمَّ الْكُوفَة ، ثُمَّ الشام ، فلم يقدر عَلَى مَا يريد عِنْدَ أحد من أهل الشام فأخرجوه ، حَتَّى أتى مصر ، فاعتمر فِيهِمْ ، فَقَالَ لَهُمْ فِيمَا يقول : لعجب ممن يزعم أن عِيسَى يرجع ، ويكذب بأن محمدا يرجع ، وَقَدْ قَالَ اللَّه عَزَّ وَجَلَّ : إِنَّ الَّذِي فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لَرَادُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ سورة القصص آية 85 فمحمد أحق بالرجوع من عِيسَى ، قَالَ : فقبل ذَلِكَ عنه ، ووضع لَهُمُ الرجعة فتكلموا فِيهَا ، ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُمْ بعد ذَلِكَ : إنه كَانَ ألف نبي ، ولكل نبي وصي ، وَكَانَ علي وصي مُحَمَّد ، ثُمَّ قَالَ : مُحَمَّد خاتم الأنبياء ، وعلي خاتم الأوصياء.
ثُمَّ قَالَ بعد ذَلِكَ : من أظلم ممن لم يجز وصية رَسُول اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، ووثب عَلَى وصي رَسُول اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، وتناول أمر الأمة.
ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُمْ بعد ذَلِكَ : إن عُثْمَان أخذها بغير حق ، وهذا وصي رَسُول اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، فانهضوا فِي هَذَا الأمر فحركوه
Abdallah b. Saba was a Jew from San’a, and his mother was a black woman. He converted to Islam in the time of Uthman, then roamed about the lands of the Muslims attempting to lead them into error. He began in the Hijaz, and then [worked] successively in Basra, Kufah, and Syria. He was unable to work his will upon a single one of the Syrians; they drove him out and he came to Egypt. He settled among the Egyptians, saying to them, among other things, “How strange it is that some people claim that Jesus will return [to the earth], while denying that Muhammad will return. Now Almighty God has said, ‘He who has ordained the Qur’an for thee shall surely restore thee to a place of return.’ Now Muhammad is more worthy than Jesus to return.” This gained the approval [of his listeners], and so he fabricated for them [the notion of] the Return (raj’ah), and they discussed it among themselves. Later on, (Ibn Saba) said to them, “Verily there have been a thousand prophets (nabi); every prophet has an executor (wasi) and Ali was the executor of Muhammad.” He continued, “Muhammad is the seal of the prophets, and Ali is the seal of the executors.” Then after that he said, “Who commits a greater wrong than a man who has not carried out the testament of the Messenger of God, who has attacked the executor of the Messenger of God, and who has usurped power over the Community?” Then he told them, “Verily Uthman has taken it without right, while this one [that is, Ali] is the executor of the Messenger of God. Therefore champion this cause and set it going. (Tarikh al-Tabari)
In a previous entry, I demonstrated how this heretical group, the Republican Brotherhood and followers of Mahmoud Taha, inherited their twisted interpretation of some of the Verses of the Quran from a Mu’tazilite sect known as the Khabitiyya. Likewise, here we see the strong influence of the heretic Abdallah b. Saba or the Saba’iyya on them as well. But in order to hide their connection to Ibn Saba, we see how they have shamelessly attributed the ideas of the latter to the Prophet's companion Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him).